An office to promote Macau’s tourism will be opened in Russia next year, Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Director João Manuel Costa Antunes announced Thursday.
An MGTO source told The Macau Post Daily the office would be based in Moscow.
Costa Antunes said in his speech at a gala dinner at MGM Macau to mark World Tourism Day that the decision to open the new office in Russia came after the government signed an agreement with the Russian Federation on the mutual exemption of visa requirements, which takes effect on Sunday, allowing Macau passport holders to stay in Russia for a maximum of 30 days.
MGTO currently has 16 representative offices around the world.
According to The Macau Post Daily, Costa Antunes also said that while there was scepticism when he decided to open an MGTO representative office in New Delhi a few years ago, the number of Indian tourists to the city now provedthat his decision was right.
According to official statistics, 104,699 tourists from India visited Macau in the first eight months of this year, down 9.9 percent year-on-year.
Costa Antunes acknowledged in his speech that Macau’s tourism industry was affected by a slower growth pace this year due to adverse economic factors abroad.
In the first eight months, growth in the number of visitor arrivals slowed to just 1.1 percent year-on-year, at 18.7 million, according to the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC).
“We have to be united when we do not obtain the huge growth we used to have in the past. We expected a 10 percent increase [in visitor arrivals] this year, unfortunately, I am not so sure that we will reach the 10 percent but we willhave an increase I hope,” Costa Antunes said. However, he was quick to add that the government was still optimistic that the local tourism industry would continue to grow.(macaunews)